Deaths, illnesses related to vaping cannabis on the rise, health authorities say


Deaths in the states of Indiana, California, and Minnesota were reported by officials.

On Friday, federal health officials announced there were at least 450 possible cases of severe lung disease caused by vaping.

"While this investigation is ongoing, people should consider not using e-cigarette products", says Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, incident manager of the CDC's response to the vaping-related lung injuries.

The exact cause of the illness is still now unknown, but Dana Meaney-Delman, the head of the CDC's investigation into the illness, stated that "While this investigation is ongoing, people should consider not using e-cigarette products".

"One of the things found in common was all patients were using vaped substances in e-cigarettes", said Dr Daniel Fox of WakeMed Health and Hospitals in North Carolina, where several cases were identified.

Still, "we are getting a clearer focus ... and the investigation is narrowing", Ileana Arias, the acting deputy director for noninfectious diseases at CDC, said.

The CDC official said at a telebriefing on Friday that the lung diseases are likely linked with a chemical exposure since they identified no infectious causes.

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NY's health department said laboratory test results showed very high levels of vitamin E oil in cannabis cartridges used by all 34 people in the state who had fallen ill after using e-cigarettes, and as a result was focusing its investigation in that direction. Because consumers can not be sure whether any THC vaping products may contain Vitamin E acetate, consumers are urged to avoid buying vaping products from the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores.

The editorial called on doctors to discourage their patients from using e-cigarettes and for a broader effort to increase public awareness about "the harmful effects of vaping".

The President of the American Vaping Association said adults shouldn't be afraid of buying store-bought vaping products to help quit smoking.

Investigators are also uncertain about whether the cases have only been occurring recently, or were happening earlier but were not being linked to vaping because of a lack of awareness.

Symptoms of the life-threatening illness include headache, fever, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea and vomiting.

"There's not enough action taken by our politicians", said Mr Tim Johnson during a news conference in IL on Thursday (Sept 5) after his daughter fell ill with a lung illness believed to have been caused by vaping.

"My stance is overall, as a lung doctor, I don't want anybody putting anything into their lungs", Dr. Dixie Harris, a pulmonologist with Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, who has worked on 24 cases in Utah said. So far, four deaths have been linked to the condition.